Archive for ‘Success Stories’

July 19, 2011

Two Pet Sitters, a Book & their Stories

by Bonnie Best

The pet sitting business has been ear marked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor as a small business industry that will thrive with the coming years. Every year an estimated $41 billion is spent on U.S. household pets. 63% of U.S. households own a pet. As these numbers present, the pet sitting business is fast becoming one of the best small business ventures that an individual can undertake.

Two amazing women I know personally are taking advantage of this exciting time and they are former real estate agent, Lynne Cline of Gilbert, AZ and 10-year-old, Alexandra Barikhan of Lake Forest, California.

I wanted to share their stories with you, from their point of view, and how my book, The Real POOP SCOOP on Pet Sitting helped them get their business up and running!

About Lynn Cline:

Bonnie’s understanding and great care of my animals as my pet sitter inspired me to leave the real estate industry and start my own pet sitting business. The Real POOP SCOOP on Pet Sitting guided me every step of the way and provided invaluable information for me to become successful.

I live and operate my business, Urban Tails Pet Sitting, in Gilbert, Arizona. Starting the company in 2006 with 5 clients, I’m now approaching 30 clients and that number continues to grow. My array of services, along with client pictures, rates and policies can be found here.

The Real POOP SCOOP on Pet Sitting positioned me for the realities of owning a pet sitting business and allowed me to develop the fundamentals needed to get it started as well as market it. It’s really my “go-to” place for any miscellaneous questions I may have. It feels great to see such an amazing profit versus what I was making as a real estate agent.

About Alexandra Barikhan:

I received The Real POOP SCOOP on Pet Sitting as a Christmas gift and even though I’m 10 I’m already starting my dream of becoming a pet sitter. Starting in my neighborhood, and with friends of my family, I make time to pet sit before and after school, and on weekends. It’s fairly small now, but I’m taking the pet sitting business tips from the book very seriously.

My services are not limited to basic pet care, but also includes taking in the mail, cleaning up the yard and litter pans, keeping lights turned on at night, and taking out the trash. My mom helps me supervise the needs of the clients, and I charge based on the services requested. I’m so thrilled to call myself a pet sitter. The book was the perfect gift.

My background in animal care comes from my family who raise and show champion dogs and horses. Even from birth, animals have been a large part of my life. Not only do I handle the dogs, smooth coated collies, in the junior handling classes, I also show a beautiful champion Friesian stallion.

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April 28, 2011

Ollie, Ollie, Ollie

by Bonnie Best

Wanted to share with you a story from a friend of mine, Robert Payne. Enjoy!

Every once in a while I meet a dog that just stands out more than others, and Ollie literally stands out, and above, most in both size and personality! Just take a look at this magnificent boy!

I first started in the “show world” with Shetland sheepdogs. They had been the breed I grew up with, and when I first went to a show in the mountains of Vermont, at the Green Mountain Kennel Club, I was hooked on the competition. The dogs all in top condition amazed me. I purchased my first sheltie from a women in Stowe Vermont. He was a blue merle named Max, I did take him onto finish his AKC Championship and I bred him to one bitch, and kept a puppy from that breeding, and also put her Championship on her. This was back in 1982, as I lived in the country, I often was in the woods walking and exploring, and the shelties just where not made for trekking through the woods.

One day, I happened upon what I thought were two deer playing in the woods. I silently watched them from a distance and realized they were not deer, but dogs, Great Danes to be exact. I struck up a friendship with the owners and after spending every weekend with these great people, and these fantastic beasts, I had fallen completely in love with the Great Dane, These dogs where fearless, funny, clumsy and graceful all at the same time. I became infatuated with one boy in particular. His name was Higgins (Yes after Magnum PI). I talked the owners into letting me have him and become his co owner. It was then that I was thrown head over heels into the real world of show dogs! Higgins went on to be the number one Great Dane for 3 years and still holds many records for his winning. Unfortunately he never produced anything as good as himself. My Dane numbers grew and I finally met my mentor and valued friend, Anita Dunne of Dundane Kennels. I ended up with 3 Danes from her, as you know Danes don’t live anywhere near as long as other breeds and I found it too hard to lose the members of my family every 5-8 years and decided enough was enough. I had experienced too many broken hearts. I took a 10 year hiatus from the breed and the ring.

I traveled a lot, and when my wanderlust ran its course, I settled down. After a short time I realized that I was missing something, it didn’t take me long to figure out it was, of course, a Dane. I contacted my old friend Anita whom had stopped breeding a few years previous, and told her I wanted to get back in to the breed. She happily bred her last bitch and gave me the pick male, who is now a star! He is one point away from finishing his Championship, and is just a beautiful, loving, and the most wonderful animal. He is truly my best friend. By print time I hope to have his Championship on him, and be on the way of repeating the year with his younger sister. Watch for updates on her in a future newsletter, that is, if Miss Bonnie allows us to brag!

If you would like more information on this majestic, sweet natured breed, contact the Great Dane Club of America  or Mr. Robert Payne by email or his cell: 702-752-4545.

You won’t find a more loyal, gentle companion as the gorgeous Great Dane!

Just look at this face! How can you say no?

 Baby Mae loves her big brother, too.

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April 21, 2011

Japanese Dog Found Alive at Sea

by Bonnie Best

I’ve been wanting to post this story about the dog that was found at sea after the tsunami in Japan. It’s just remarkable.

Against All Odds: Japanese Dog Found Alive at Sea Three Weeks After Tsunami

Miraculous: three weeks after an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, a dog was found alive at sea by the Japanese Coast Guard. According to The Daily Mail, the dog survived by living in a partially submerged house that was swept to sea.

Rescuers had hoped to find more tsunami survivors living inside the house but after tearing the roof open, it was found to be empty apart from the dog.

Despite its three weeks at sea, the medium-sized brown dog seemed to be in reasonably good condition considering its ordeal.

The discovery of the dog is a rare glimmer of hope in Japan where thousands of people are believed to have perished in the disaster.

And, guess what? They found the owner and they reunited!

Watch below!

This brings such happiness to my heart and hope for the communities of Japan.

January 27, 2011

I have a Protege

by Bonnie Best

I’ve been honored to have had several of my readers write to me, and inform me, that my book had been beneficial to them in one way or the other.  As an author, there is no higher compliment.  I am blessed to have had the fortitude to continue forward in completing the book, because I knew that there would be “someone” out there that could benefit from my experience.  My intent was to help others avoid the  pitfalls that new pet sitters stumble in, and also help them  become better pet sitters for their clients. 

This past week I had another privilege and that was being introduced to one of my youngest protégé’s, a 10-year-old who is very busy out there creating her own dream of becoming a pet sitter!  She received my book as a gift and was just thrilled to be “getting tips” from it and how excited and happy she was to be able to be a pet sitter!  I have never heard a person so enthusiastic, and thrilled to be helping others!  She understands that her service is indeed important.  She went on to tell me what services she provides, which is not limited to basic pet care, but also includes taking in the mail.  She has even provided in “her home” care for one puppy because the owner does not want to leave it home alone.  Good idea and one I recommend, for dogs under 1  1/2 years of age. 

I asked her if I could feature her on my blog and she was as honored as I was in speaking with her! 

Her name is Alexandra Barikhan and she is thrilled to be a pet sitter.  She not only cares for the pets, feeding and watering, but also cleans up the yard and litter pans and brings in the mail.  She informed me she cares for all animals including turtles! 

Her background in animal care comes from growing up in a family who raise and show champion dogs and horses.  Right from birth, animals have been a large part of her life.  Not only does she handle the dogs, smooth coated collies, in the junior handling classes, she also shows a beautiful champion Friesian stallion. 

Having the opportunity to speak with Alexandra, was not only fun and enlightening, but a flash back to my own child hood and how it all started for me. Hearing Alexandra’s passion, I know her future is definitely a bright one! She will certainly be running a very successful pet sitting business!  Her parents can be proud in having a young entrepreneur in the family, filled with dreams, and the desire to achieve them.  Truly an American spirit!